Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas is urging city residents to undergo RT-PCR tests if feeling sick or have influenza-like symptoms.
“Our cases are rising. We have to test more, and vaccinate more in order to lower down cases and curb transmission,” he said.
The city is offering swab tests for free at Jubilee Hall for symptomatic patients with doctor’s referral, close contacts, returning overseas Filipinos, and returning residents.
The city executive recently informed practicing doctors that they may now issue referral or request slips for swabbing at City Molecular Laboratory at Jubilee Hall for their patients who are COVID suspects and close contacts of confirmed cases.
Those who will undergo swab tests for travel or employment purposes will be charged with the current rate of P2,500 pending the amendment in the ordinance.
Treñas will also request the City Council to lower the rate of RT-PCR tests to P1,800 in response to the request of the business sector, since as they reopen their businesses, they need to continuously test their employees, he said.
Uswag Molecular Laboratory
The specimens taken from Jubilee Hall swabbing are immediately brought to Iloilo City Uswag Molecular Laboratory for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
Uswag Molecular Laboratory is a premier facility in Western Visayas that offers this Gold Standard in COVID-19 testing. It has been accredited by the Department of Health, and recognized by the agency’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), garnering 100% quality assurance rating. The laboratory’s medical technologists were trained by RITM. Its personnel are all professionals who value work ethics.
It offers free swab test to close contacts of COVID positive patients, returning residents, returning overseas Filipinos, indigents, and free re-swab of patients, too.
Specimen taken from individuals are immediately run on the same day, thus getting the optimum results. As stated by various medical experts, a single negative test is not a guarantee the person is virus-free. One can be tested negative the previous day, then test positive the next day.
This will happen if someone gets tested too soon from the time they were exposed. Another reason someone could test negative, and then test positive, comes from the types of tests used. For someone who has been exposed to coronavirus, it could take up to 14 days for the virus to accumulate to detectable levels.
The Uswag Molecular Laboratory was not established for profit. It was put up primarily to help in the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration (PDITR) strategies of the government against COVID-19, particularly in Iloilo City, thereby stemming the tide of transmission in the metro.
With the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the role of the Uswag Molecular Lab is all the more highlighted as an important agent in city’s fight against COVID-19.
It has a fast turn-around time, processing 1,000 specimen in 12 hours using four RT-PCR machines. As of July 31, 2021, it has collected more than 98,000 swabs, and tested almost 60,000 swab samples since start of operation in November 2020. (Iloilo City PIO)